China to EU: We are not party to crisis in Ukraine
China says it is not circumventing sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU.
China's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that it was not doing anything to "circumvent" sanctions imposed on Russia.
EU officials had warned that attempts to aid Russia amid the war in Ukraine would damage economic ties with China. A foreign ministry official told reporters today: "We are not doing anything deliberately to circumvent sanctions imposed on Russia by Americans and Europeans."
Beijing still holds firm to its stance of refusing to condemn Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.
Washington has said that China could potentially send military and economic aid to Russia to allow it to circumvent Western sanctions against it. This statement comes as a clear indication that China plans on doing no such thing.
"We oppose sanctions and the effects of these sanctions also risk spilling to the rest of the world," said Wang Lutong, director-general of the Chinese foreign ministry's department of European affairs, at a press briefing.
Lutong stressed that China is not a party to the crisis in Ukraine, and its normal trade with any other country should not be affected.
China said that normal trade with Moscow will remain unaffected, however. "Even Europe has been conducting normal business with Russians," he said, adding "We are contributing to the global economy by maintaining the normal trade (with Russia), to avoid any possible disruption of the supply and industrial chains."
China is Russia's highest trading partner, with trade volumes last year hitting $147 billion, up more than 30% from 2019.